In March, over a million Canadian jobs vanished, far exceeding the half million economists were predicting. Enticing a population to spend cash during or after a pandemic is a challenging task. How do you effectively re-launch or resuscitate a brand when the majority of your clientele have been unemployed and/or living off government assistance?
Advertising After An International Crisis
Following any war, natural disaster or pandemic, the rules of advertising invariably change. Spending habits and the flow of capital become markedly different. Traditional advertising tactics get tossed and may be deemed irrelevant. Consumers will either be broke, or will be fearful of going broke. A widespread mindset of preservation and caution will replace attitudes of innovation and free-spending. With this in mind, it’s imperative to have a sound strategy to reinvigorate and resuscitate your business, post-Covid.
Advertising Tactics To Avoid
If your ad campaign is tone-deaf, ignoring the anxieties and struggles of a traumatized society, deep and long-lasting resentments can develop towards your brand. BMW was recently lambasted for a company tweet trivializing the dire nature of the pandemic. No one wants to feel patronized or coerced into buying a luxury car when their grandparents are perishing in long-term care homes.
McDonalds in Brazil made a decision to separate the golden arches logo in a supposed attempt to promote social distancing. It didn’t play out well, though, with critics accusing the corporation of avarice and profit-mongering in the midst of a global crisis.
Advertising Tactics To Kick-Start Your Business
When social distancing restrictions are lifted, people will remain apprehensive about traditional brick and mortar shopping, where crowds congregate. Businesses should consider offering online products with free shipping. Gift cards that can be used now or in the future. Without a doubt, employing any sort of digital strategy will be cheaper and pose less financial risk for a company. Expect consumers to have an eye for reliability and safety rather than innovation and novelty. And that’s the direction your advertising should lean towards.
Additional Guidelines On Smart Marketing, Post-Covid
- Don’t be tone deaf, your customers may be struggling emotionally and financially.
- Be mindful of the imagery you’re presenting.
- Be perceived as empathetic, likeable and community-conscious in your ads.
- Create ads that provide valuable information, even if the information isn’t directly related to your product.
- How a company treats its employees during and after the pandemic will affect the success (or failure) of the brand for decades–emphasize and provide evidence that your company has been on-board with this philosophy of employee advocacy.
- Don’t be ‘grabby’, overtly seeking to profit from the crisis. Savvy consumers will see through that.
- Suggest how your products can alleviate suffering.
- Be humble and contrite, no one likes arrogance or grandiosity during or after an international crisis.
- remove anything in your ad campaigns that may be construed as insensitive.
Nothing Lasts Forever, Even COVID
The end of COVID-19 will come. After two years and 50 to 100 million deaths, even the pandemic in 1918 ran its course. Social-distancing measures, new antiviral medications and ultimately–a vaccine–all of these measures will inevitably right-the-ship. The question is, when Covid ends, will your business be ready to begin?
Author – Chris Bickford